As more and more people are connected online, the probability of a computer becoming infected with a virus is high. In fact, CNBC notes that cybersecurity risks have risen due to the global health crisis with more individuals and organizations reporting cases of malware, ransomware, and other cyber attacks.
Even if we have the proper cybersecurity measures in place to protect our PCs, viruses and malware are becoming more sophisticated every year. This means that the latest security software you have will likely be outdated very soon. In this post, we’ll discuss what you need to do if you think your computer might be infected with a virus.
How to Tell if Your Computer Has a Virus
If you have a good antivirus or anti-malware software installed on your computer, you’re going to receive automatic notifications once malicious software breaches your computer’s security. However, some threats to your computer can still get under your antivirus’ radar, so it’s important to know the signs of an infected computer. In this regard, HP lists frequent crashing and freezing, annoying pop-ups, and spam messages sent to your contacts without your authorization as the top signs that your computer has a virus.
A computer virus can forcibly crash and freeze your PC by overwhelming your system. It does this by opening and running multiple applications in the background — using up your computer’s memory until there’s none to spare. Pop-ups are also apparent with most computer malware — especially the ones that come when you install programs from unverified sources, click on suspicious pages, or answer surveys to access a website.
Not being careful with opening websites and downloading software can also infect your PC with spyware. If your friends and family are complaining that you’ve sent suspicious links and messages over social media or email, your PC might have fallen to spam spyware. This can have devastating real-life results, as this kind of malware spreads quickly through messages and can steal your passwords.
All in all, it’s important to remember that not all viruses are created equal and can have varying symptoms. Indeed, Patrick Gichini writes on Medium that there are other malicious software besides viruses, and each one has the goal of harming your device and compromising your information. Thankfully, there are ways to remove viruses from your PC. As long as you know the key signs of a computer infection, you can easily take the next steps to eliminate the virus.
What to Do If Your Computer Has a Virus
Even if you aren’t a professional, you can still rid your PC of any viruses that might be in its system. You can do this by installing premium antivirus software that’s more than capable of just scanning and deleting viruses from your PC. Instructions to delete malware from your PC varies depending on the antivirus software you’ve downloaded, but in essence, the software scans your PC for any malware and deletes it accordingly. If you run into any trouble, most antivirus software manufacturers can provide technical assistance via email or phone.
Despite coming with free antivirus software called Windows Defender, PCs still need the extra protection and features that come with premium antivirus software. Added security features that come with premium antivirus software like password managers, parental controls, and Wi-Fi scanners can further help you protect your PC.
After you’ve used premium antivirus software to remove existing viruses and malware, you should update your security system. To make this task easier for you, set your operating system, browser, and security software to automatically update so your computer can easily detect and handle any new viruses.
Prevention is always better than the cure — especially when it comes to protecting your data and devices. If you want to know more about how to protect your PC, be sure to check our post ‘How to Protect Your Computer From Hackers and Viruses’.